Lil Wayne rots your brain

Matilda Swartz

Some people just have too much time on their hands.

Virgil Griffith is one of them.

The twenty-something technology buff has already been accused of violating the Economic Espionage Act, developed a tool for identifying the fraudulent accounts that tamper with Wikipedia articles and, most recently, has mapped out what Top 40 artists the smart kids are tuned into.

The recent discovery of his latest “project” has been flying around music blogs faster than the U2 album predictions.

The Web site, straight-forwardly headed, “Music that makes you dumb” is a sequel to a prior aggregate of Griffith’s, “Books that make you dumb.”

Between the infinite bank of personal data that is Facebook, Griffith has provided the masses with a relatively easy to navigate, color- coded graph of 133 artists in multi-hued bubbles (to distinguish genre) correlated with average SAT scores.

Leading the list, and paralleling most legitimate studies done on the relationship between music and intelligence, is Beethoven with a corresponding average SAT score of 1371.

Second with an average SAT score of 1256 is none other than Sufjan Stevens, the honey-voiced poster boy for male guitar players everywhere. Counting Crows, Guster and Radiohead round out the remainder of the top five.

Clustered around the middle of the chart is a mass of artists with only “mediocre” scores.

The Shins are higher up than the Postal Service and Damien Rice, but all three trump Bon Jovi, John Legend and the Foo Fighters.

Then there are the rather popular frequenters of the bottom of the list, including Beyoncé (SAT 932), T.I. (926) and Lil Wayne (889).  ?  

The main graph is only the beginning. Griffith has gone so far as to provide separate pages for each artist detailing their scores, their popularity among other charted artists, as well as their popularity within their own genre.  

Finally putting College Board statistics to good use, Griffith compiled an extra list of 1,352 various colleges and universities from across the country with each school’s average SAT and ACT scores, as well as the schools’ top-10 most-spun artists.

California Institute of Technology sets the bar with an average 1520 SAT…they also have both Radiohead and the “Classical” genre on their top 10.

Even Villanova is on the list. According to the site, our 1275 SAT-averaging Wildcats have a knack for mainstream pop-rock.

Our top ten includes Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Johnson, U2, Sublime, Pink Floyd, Third Eye Blind, The Killers and John Mayer.

It almost goes without saying that this entire concept is, in a multitude of ways, flawed. Just because you are a part of ‘Nova Nation does not mean you would sell your left kidney to see Chris Martin’s bony bod from a front row seat.

These lists seem to be unfortunate over-generalizations of much more optimistic collegiate musical tastes.  

Griffith does concede the notion, which so many science professors have already ingrained into our minds, that correlation does not mean causation.

In other words, these findings do not guarantee an “A” in organic chemistry just because you listen to Radiohead.

In any case, “Music that makes you dumb” should not be taken to heart. As intriguing as it may be to entertain the idea that the reason those slackers you’re your high school homeroom barely graduated was because they listened to Taking Back Sunday instead of Beck, it is simply not realistic.

The site should be digested as nothing more than food for an oddly entertaining thought, not a recipe for truth.